FTNS-COMIFAC: Signing of an Agreement between Germany and COMIFAC
A new financial contribution of 20 million euros, i.e. 13.1 billion CFA Francs, the amount of the financial cooperation agreement signed between Germany and COMIFAC on 5 July 2011 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Yaoundé (Cameroon) – Holding at the headquarters of the Executive Secretariat of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), a ceremony for the signing of an agreement between H.E. Mr Reinhard Buchholz, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cameroon and Mr Raymond Mbitikon, COMIFAC Executive Secretary. This ceremony was enhanced with the effective presence of several personalities, especially the ambassadors of the CAR, the DRC, the Republic of Congo, as well as the Cameroonian Secretary of State at the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife, Mr Joseph Roland Matta.
A donation to fund activities in the Nouabale-Ndoki and Dzangha Sangha parks in the Republic of Congo and the CAR, respectively.
This additional funding of 20 million euros, i.e. 13.1 billion CFA francs, is granted as a gift to COMIFAC (for TNS) by the German government. Its implementation shall be ensured by the German Development Bank (KfW). It is essentially intended to supply the trust fund and to fund service and anti-poaching activities in the Nouabale-Ndoki and Dzangha Sangha parcs in the Republic of Congo and the CAR, respectively. This will help support COMIFAC in its efforts to reform and ensure the sustainable management of forests and conservation in protected areas. It stresses the role of TNS Foundation as a forerunner and trust fund for environment and as a model for the putting in place of innovative and sustainable funding mechanisms, in support of COMIFAC Convergence Plan.
This funding is part of previous agreements signed between COMIFAC and the Republic of Cameroon, in the framework of the financial contribution to the TNS (Tri-national Sangha) concerning first the Lobeke Park in Cameroon. The Sangha TNS cross-border complex was created in 2000 on an initiative of the presidents of the CAR, the Republic of Cameroon and of the Republic of Congo. TNS includes the three adjoining national parks of Danga-Sangha, Lobeke and Nouabale Ndoki in the CAR, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, respectively. These three parks cover a surface area of about 44,000 km2.
An international foundation was put in place in 2007 in order to finance the implementation of development plans and other recurrent measures in these protected areas. TNS trust fund (FTNS) is designed to be an innovative and sustainable funding mechanism in support of COMIFAC Convergence Plan. It is registered in Great Britain as a “guaranteed limited liability company”, whose capital shall be invested in the international financial market in a way that guarantees the corpus is at least maintained. Only net interests shall be used to cover the financial needs of development plans implementation, monitoring and ecological follow-up, in short any cross-border activities of the three parks. In order to ensure the permanence and the effective profitability of this fund as a development instrument and to count with a capital of 20 to 25 billion CFA francs, the foundation has already raised several contributions, namely through KfW (5 million euros), AFD (3 million euros) and the German Foundation Regenwald Stifung (4 million euros).
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Photo 1: The German Ambassador, H.E. Reinhard Buchholz and COMIFAC ES, Raymond Mbitikon, signing the agreement (Source: German Embassy, Yaoundé)
Photo 2: Group photograph at the end of the ceremony (source: German Embassy, Yaoundé)